Louis van Gaal would be making a huge mistake if he decides to bring Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen to Manchester United this summer. He's nowhere near the calibre of player required to shore up the defence at Old Trafford next season.
There's a reason why the Belgium international has found regular action difficult to come by in north London in the past two years. Not just because he is inferior to Arsene Wenger's first-choice pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, but the fact that the 28-year-old is a fading force in the game with a questionable injury record as well.
Since the appointment of Van Gaal last month Red Devils fans have grown increasingly giddy by the quality of potential targets that continue to be linked, despite the fact that Manchester United will not be able to offer Champions League football next term. So why on earth anyone is entertaining the idea of welcoming an Arsenal back-up player to the club is baffling to say the least.
There is an obvious link to be made between Vermaelen and Van Gaal, though. The Holland head coach was employed as Ajax's technical director when the Gunners skipper first made his breakthrough at the Amsterdam Arena, but that doesn't justify any possible move for the Emirates Stadium outcast this summer.
Too much water has passed under the bridge.
Having made just 14 Premier League appearances for Arsenal in 2013/14, there have been suggestions that the Belgian could leave north London after the World Cup, and with just 12 months remaining on his existing contract a transfer ahead of the 2014/15 campaign seems likely, as Wenger looks to avoid a similar situation next year to what happened with Bacary Sagna departing on a free transfer this summer.
Vermaelen also shares the same agent as Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, who ditched Arsenal to join the Red Devils in the summer of 2012. The defender is by no means regarded anywhere near as important a figure in the Gunners first-team as the Dutchman was, but that doesn't mean that Wenger will be any more inclined to sell another player to a direct Premier League rival.
Van Persie and Vermaelen remain close friends, but it still seems farfetched that their relationship will have any kind of influence in the prospective deal. Manchester United have been linked with far better players, and would be foolish to settle for such an underwhelming addition, particularly at a time where the club is crying out for a new leader at the heart of their defence following the recent departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
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